Wireless broadband access solutions provider Novatel Wireless Inc. (NVTL - Analyst Report), has announced that it will launch its next generation WiFi hot-spot MiFi 2, with Bell Canada, a subsidiary of BCE Inc. (BCE - Analyst Report) on Mar 2013. Bell Canada’s customers will be one of the first in the world to get access to Novatel’s innovative wireless router MiFi 2, for high speed internet access.
MiFi 2, which is also known as MiFi Liberate is the first touchscreen mobile hotspot with an entirely new user interface that allows customers to handle the device at the touch of a finger. Significantly, MiFi 2 shows all the features such as as icons, which will help users to adapt to the various functionalities of the hotspots easily and quickly. The latest hotspot from Novatel provides users with data storage information, shared storage capacity and location based service.
The most important characteristics of MiFi 2 is that it can connect upto 10 Wi-Fi enabled device simultaneously and features an expanded battery backup that provides users with 11 hours of usage time. Furthermore, the handy device can be easily carried by customers.
San Diegobased Novatel, has previously launched its MiFi 2 product with US based carrier AT&T Inc. (T - Analyst Report). Leading US carrier Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Analyst Report) which has already launched Novatel’s MiFi 4620 is also expected to launch the touchscreen version of the hotspot in the first half of 2013.
Wi-Fi hotspots have been used by mobile carriers to attract customers by attaching it with broadband or wireless offerings as a value added product. Nevertheless, this picture is expected to change with the extraordinary data growth. Carriers are now expected to use a hotspot as a strategy to offload the huge data traffic on its network. Research firm In-Stat forecasts that hotspot users will reach 120 billion connections by 2015
According to Bell Canada, MiFi 2 along with its expanded LTE network base will allow customers to transfer data across multiple devices in real quick time, often at a much faster speed than traditional broadband connection. We believe the tie up could significantly increase Novatel’s customer base as Bell Canada leads the Canadian telecom market in terms of subscribers. Additionally, the enhanced features of MiFi 2 will attract Bell Canada’s enterprise customers as it will allow them to connect more devices, thus reducing their operating cost.
However, Novatel faces increased competition from smartphone manufacturers as most of the latest smartphones have inbuilt Wi-Fi capacity thereby minimizing the need of external WiFi hotspot like MiFi 2.
Currently, Novatel carries a Zacks Rank# 3 (Hold).